So, is your snowboard stance too wide? It might be. Your board is your connection to the snow. If you aren’t using that connection properly, you aren’t snowboarding properly. You may never think about it, but your snowboard stance impacts your mobility and performance in ways that you never thought possible. It can take a lot of testing to find the sweet spot of a snowboard stance, but once you do, you’ll be really thankful you took the time to get there.
If you’ve been wondering is your snowboard stance too wide, this guide will help let you know how important stance width is and how you can find a snowboard stance that’s perfect for you.
What is Stance Width?
As the name suggests, stance width is the width between your feet when you’re standing on the board. It’s measured as the distance between your feet after they have been strapped in and it is a critical component of your whole snowboard setup. For most snowboarders, a good stance width is to have your feet as wide as shoulder-width, or sometimes a little wider.
Why is a Good Snowboard Stance Important?
Stance width is very important. In fact, it is a critical component of maintaining both turning abilities and balance. Beyond that, an improper snowboard stance can also impact performance and even safety. Many snowboards report knee pain (and even severe injuries) after using an improper snowboard stance.
If you’re a new snowboarder, stance might not be super important yet. However, if you’re an expert or simply wanting to improve your skills, adjusting your snowboard stance width might be that trick you need to boost your performance.
Is Your Snowboard Stance Too Wide?
Finding a good stance width for your generally requires some trial and error. There are a few indications that your stance might be too wide.
Some snowboarders report that they experience pain in the back of their knees when they’re using a snowboard stance that’s too wide. A good snowboard stance should leave you feeling pain free and it’s definitely worth experimenting with different stances and angles if you’re feeling any discomfort. You might not feel immediately comfortable (as it takes some time to get used to) but you certainly shouldn’t feel any pain from your snowboard stance.
A wider stance might provide some more stability, but it can also make turn transitions much harder. Especially if you snowboard freestyle, you might find it difficult to make quick, sharp turns. If you’re finding that your performance is starting to be impacted by your stance, it might be a good time to start experimenting with a narrower stance.
If you’re just feeling off when you’re snowboarding and can’t explain the feeling in any other way (loose bindings, wrong board size, improper boots), it could simply be your boarding stance. Sometimes the answer to: is your snowboard stance too wide is a simple one. If it feels too wide, it could be as simple as that. It might be worth experimenting with a narrower stance.
Find Your Snowboard Stance
Like we mentioned before, having your feet shoulder width apart is a good place to determine stance width. You can start there and make small adjustments based on what feels comfortable.
How to Find the Optimal Snowboard Stance
Use the Board’s Recommendations
Your board will most likely have a reference stance. This stance is based on the dimensions of the board itself and should come printed on the insert pack that comes with your board. If you want to make your stance more narrow or wide, move the binding in and out the same number of holes on each side of the board.
Mix it Up
You may have been using a snowboard stance that feels comfortable for years. You may have never considered changing it, but sometimes that’s what’s needed to improve your performance. It may feel strange and awkward at first, but mixing it up every once in a while is a good idea! You’ll be exposed to more power transfer, rotation, and even mobility.
Consider What Type of Snowboarding You Do
Ultimately, stance width will be dependent on what type of snowboarding you do, your height, and your personal preferences. You’ll have to experiment with what feels most comfortable, and also consider how you’re spending your time on the slopes.
We recommend that you start out with your feet just a little wider than your shoulder width, as this will provide you with most stability. Here are some other general recommendations for stance width based on what type of rider you are:
- Surf-style longboard riders: You’ll probably want a narrower stance. With your hips in, you’ll be able to pivot quickly.
- Technical freeriders: Freeriders tend to prefer a wider stance because it affords them with additional balance.
- Terrain park riders: If you’ll be heading through rough terrain, you’ll definitely want the added balance that a wider stance provides.
Use Height Recommendations
While comfort should be a priority over choosing a stance based on height, some snowboarders prefer to choose a width based on their height.
There are a few main width recommendations based on height:
- Less than 5’1” feet (1.54 m): 17-18 inches
- Between 5’2” feet (1.56 m) and 5’8” feet (1.72 m): 18-20 inches
- More than 5’9” feet (1.75 m): 20-23 inches
We hope that this helped answer the question: is your snowboard stance too wide? Ultimately, it will be all up to you in determining the best snowboard stance width for you. It will be based on your height, your board, and your performance goals. If you have a feeling that your stance is too wide, it probably is. Experiment with something more narrow and see if that alleviates any performance issues or pain. Now you know how important snowboard stance is and what steps you can take to adjust it! One of the best parts of snowboarding is learning what works best for you, enjoy experimenting with your snowboard stance!